When did it all start?
• The first issue of Billboard magazine was
printed in 1894 but it was in 1936 that it
became well known. This gradually evolved
into radio airplay and record sales charts (The
Billboard charts). TBC provided different music
genres and was the foundation for slots on the
radio for programmes like ‘American Top 40’.
The magazine is aimed at music professionals
however, it is available to the general public.
Melody Maker and NME
• Melody Maker began in 1926 and covered all aspects of
the jazz scene. By the 50’s it had competition from NME
which was appealing to more of a younger generation as
it had coverage on the up-and-coming rock and roll
scene. They both offered weekly information on
upcoming record releases. The magazines had
newspaper formats but ‘music inkies’ provided detailed
coverage of independent label artists not mainstream
chart music. A glossy magazine format for Melody Maker
was introduced in 1999 and merged with NME in 2000
which are both owned by IPC media.
• The music fanzine is said to have emerged in
the 60s from sci-fi and comic related amateur
publications. Crawdaddy and Bompare
examples in rock folklore today. The arrival of
amateur publications highlights the
relationship between music, fan-based
creativity and the want to manuscript a‘scene’.
• In 1967 Rolling Stone magazine was created
and documented music as an important partin
the culture of youth with reflective articles
about music and social change, and the
political concerns about music. Rolling Stone
was less about factual information and more
about the culture of music.
Genre Specific Magazines and Smash
• The glossy fortnightly magazine Smash Hits was
created in 1978 and was aimed at teens. This magazine
is important to the development of music because it
covered music in a different way as it was designed as a
genre-specific magazine (pop). Kerrang! was
introduced in 1981and compared to Smash Hits, it is
more of a music orientated magazine.
Kerrang!’smonthly competitor is Metal Hammer. In the
90s genre specific magazines were produced, like
Mixmag (dance/clubbing music coverage), The Source
and Hip-Hop (hip-hop/rap music) and Classic Rock (rock
music for an older audience).
• The Face was launched in 1980 by Nick Logan (exeditor for Kerrang! And Smash Hits). The Face
was a monthly magazine that offered the
colourfullayout of Smash Hits but aimed at as
lightly older audience, embracing music and also
fashion and lifestyle. The layout consisted of lots
of images and detailed articles, pages full of
celebrities, musicians, fashion shoots and
advertising. This magazine stopped being
published in 2004 however it influenced other
magazines such as Q magazine, Mojo and Uncut.
Other types of Music Magazines
• In 1980 a monthly magazine called Record
Collector became available which was filled
full of adverts and contained sources of
buying and selling music. It started out as a
glossy A5 publication but in 2003 it
relaunchedin full-colour in an A4 magazine
• Since then, magazines have become less
popular as nowadays ways to get new
information about the music scene is very
easy to do. Most people use the internet and
magazine’s websites to find everything out.
The internet has all the information you need
from CD releases to new artists. You can now
also use the internet to buy magazines. People
can also download music online which effects
CD sales and record shops.